I started physical therapy a couple of weeks ago. My PT’s name is Jason. We’ve developed a pretty good rapport with one another. He knows that I want to get back to playing but Im not going to get overzealous. I know that he has a process to teach me so I cant be my usual impatient self.
The first day of PT was exciting. I was anxious to see what my knee was capable of. He measured my extension and flexion. My numbers were better than expected. I was so engrossed in improving before I left, I dont recall looking up and around much at all. I completed every exercise he presented and had it not been for not wanting to overwork myself, I would have stayed longer.
Fast forward two sessions later, Ive gotten more comfortable with the atmosphere. The facility is pretty large. There are several therapists and patients in at once. I didnt pay much attention upon first seeing other patients that their requirements for PT werent from being Weekend Warriors. Many of them arrived at PT for a plethora of reasons, accidents, deformations of their body, arthritis, etc.
During my most recent session, I was excited at my ability to fly through most of my exercises with ease and little pain. Jason has started to put me on the stationary bike for the first 8 mins of my session to warm my knee a bit. As he was removing my brace and I got ready to get on to the bike, in the midst of complaining about having to wear the brace, a lady on the bike next to me asked me what brought me to PT. I told her I had torn my ACL playing football and soccer. I was still pissy because I want out of the brace. I have full extension and flexion. We began to compare ailments and abilities. (Apparently PTs hate this). She too had torn her ACL but she was out of her brace however she didnt have full extension. Her leg would only bend a bit. I on the other hand can swing my leg like a well oiled hinge but Im still wearing the brace. Blah!
I informed Jason that the brace is restrictive. He agreed but my doctor wants it on until he sees me in May so…Robocop I am.
Near the end of my session Jason gave me a different tool to use. This tool was to improve my extension. In a nutshell, the tool had a blood pressure cuff that was placed on top of my knee as my heel was slightky elevated. As I squeezed the balloon, my knee was pressed more and more. It hurt! It hurt like hell! I hurt so bad that I used my hands to lift my body so my knee wouldnt pull anymore. They immediately removed the tool as my facial expression changed and I looked like I wanted to cry. I was very disappointed in myself. Jason gave me another exercise that I could complete…I think he didnt want me to leave on a negative note. I ended my session and left, declining an ice compression as usual.
Still sour about not being able to complete the new exercise, I left the building and got into my car…then I recalled something that I hadnt paid much attention to until after I had left.
There’s one guy that I see every now and then. He only does upper body exercises. I never thought much of it. I figured he had dislocated his shoulder or something. I shrugged it off.
After I cooled my tantrum, I realized that this guy had been in a wheelchair the entire time. He was only performing exercises on his upper body because he is paralyzed from the waist down. Before this moment I never looked at him entirely. I was completely oblivious. And I began to feel foolish for complaining. I who can sit, stand, and walk, complaining about wearing a brace for a few weeks while I share a room with a guy who has to sit in one place for an infinite amount of time, he cannot stand, sit, or walk.
Today I am thankful for my abundant bit. I realize that a little bit of something it better than a lot of nothing.